Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grenada to Trinidad Sail

June 23rd

We departed at 22:30 (10:30pm).  The tough part was getting out of the Prickly Bay anchorage. With a sliver of a moon that didn't rise until nearly sun up, it was very dark steering around anchored and moored boats, some with anchor lights and some without.  Starting a passage like this can be so dis-orienting.  Sv Sonic Boom followed us out.  Soon both boats had sails raised and were romping along in 16 knots wind sustained, gusts to 20.  The seas were lumpy.  Sv Honey Rdyer was running with an 80% main and reefed headsail.  Sv Sonic Boom had all sails a flying and keeping up quite nicely, even passing us at one point in the middle of the night.  Sv Honey Ryder saw speeds of over 8 knots surfing the waves.   This continued until the middle of the night when we were hit by a strong counter current.  This knocked both boats back to under 5 knots speed - 2 and 3 knots at times.  Ugh!

Our only traffic was a crossing situation with a cargo ship in the middle of the night....why are these always in the middle of the night!  They didn't respond to Tom's first hail on the VHF radio.  They did respond when I hailed them.  FYI - big  cargo ships and such seem to respond favorably when a female voice hails them!  Unlike the other gigantic ships we have encountered in the past that speed along at alarming rates, this one didn't seem to be in any hurry.  We altered course and went behind him and even then we nearing sailed up on his stern as he had turned to starboard and seemed to be creeping along.

By morning's first light we could see the oil rig Hibiscus off in the distance and multiple, multiple oilfield support ships on AIS.  This was one of the reasons we left Grenada at 22:30 so we would pass this portion of our trip in daylight.  A pod of 25 or so dolphins decided to use sv Honey Ryder as a strategic fish hunting tool, dodging this way and that all around us after their breakfast.  We opted for PB and J breakfast sandwiches as we watched them.  These dolphins were small, medium grey with spots and short, stubby tails.  

"Hey honey.  I think we better reef.....look up ahead.  I think there is a squall coming."  This was my wake up call during a morning nap.  I sat up and turned to see a fast advancing squall.  We just got the headsail reefed when it hit big time with strong winds and torrential rain.  Tom called Paul on the VHF "Paul you might want to reef there is a squall headed your way."  FYI -In our humble opinion - dodger and Bimini are vital on a cruising boat!  After the squall the sun came out and our speeds climbed above 5 knots again.
The coastline of Trinidad was obscured in the haze of the day but we finally spotted it.  Big seas accompanied as we neared.  We took a couple of really big waves that hit up and over the dodger and bimini.  Have I told you how much I love, love, love our dodger and Bimini!!!!!  

We furled the main and motored through the narrow cut between the western coast of Trinidad and the Trinidadian island of  Mono Island.  It was beautiful in the cut with high hills tumbling steeply into the sea on each side and the hidden anchorage of Scotland Bay.  The winds swirled a bit so we went ahead furled the jib and motored around the corner and into Chaguaramas Bay 16 hours after departing Prickly Bay Grenada.  
Special note- This was our first time to truly buddy boat.  We have to applaud Paul on Sv Sonic Boom of an outstanding sail.  With no autopilot and no bimini he is one tough, salty sailor, literally!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Claiming to be "Warship Six Nine" always garnered an immediate response from those night time quiet guys....Sounds like a spirited crossing, glad you guys are safe.